In the early nineteenth century China remained almost untouched by British and European powers - but as new technology started to change this balance, foreigners gathered like wolves around the weakening Qing Empire. Would the Chinese suffer the fate of much of the rest of the world, carved into pieces by Europeans? Or could they adapt rapidly enough to maintain their independence?
This important and compelling book explains the roots of China's complex relationship with the West by illuminating a dramatic, colourful and sometimes shocking period of the country's history.
Robert Bickers is the author of the highly-acclaimed Empire Made Me. He has written extensively on Chinese history and is currently Professor of History at the University of Bristol. To write The Scramble for China he has travelled extensively, visiting many of the haunting sites scattered across China that feature in the book.